[MOL] Re: Radiation after breast surgery benefits.... [01210] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Re: Radiation after breast surgery benefits....

Thursday, October 26, 2000
Radiation after breast surgery benefits black, white women

NEW YORK, Oct 26 (Reuters Health) - Breast cancer patients who undergo
breast-conserving surgery appear to benefit from radiation treatments
regardless of race, researchers reported Wednesday at the American Society
for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.
In the 5 years after treatment, blacks and whites appeared to have
essentially the same risk of cancer recurrence and chance of survival. The
five-year disease-free survival was 90.3% in black women and 91.7% in white

Dr. Stuart Burri and colleagues at Emory University School of Medicine in
Atlanta, Georgia looked at the medical charts of 102 black and 162 white
women treated between 1993 and 1996 for breast cancer. All the women
underwent radiation treatments after breast-conserving surgery, or
lumpectomy, a surgery in which the tumor is removed and healthy tissue is

The findings show that, "black women who detect tumors early do just as well
as white women when treated with post-lumpectomy radiotherapy," said Burri,
who is currently practicing at Southeast Radiation Oncology in Charlotte,
North Carolina.

But black women tend to have more advanced disease when they first seek
medical attention, Burri pointed out. Specifically, 43% of blacks compared
with 32% of whites had more advanced disease when they were diagnosed, he

Black women were also more likely to be younger (under 45) and to require
more than 49 days to complete radiotherapy, Burri reported. They also had a
higher rate of repeat surgery, but Burri views this as a "favorable figure"
since it indicates good patient follow-up.

The researchers saw no difference between the groups in terms of likelihood
to receive chemotherapy. Chemotherapy combats cells that have broken off
from the original tumor and may be in other parts of the body, while
radiation is used to fight cancer cells remaining in the breast.

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